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    Time efficient post-disaster housing reconstruction with prefabricated modular structures
    Gunawardena, Tharaka ; Ngo, Tuan ; Mendis, Priyan ; Aye, Lu ; Crawford, Robert (The Urban International Press, 2014-09-01)
    With many natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, bushfires and tsunamis destroying human habitats around the world, post-disaster housing reconstruction has become a critical topic. The current practice of post-disaster reconstruction consists of various approaches that carry affected homeowners from temporary shelters to permanent housing. While temporary shelters may be provided within a matter of days as immediate disaster relief, permanent housing can take years to complete. However, time is critical, as affected communities will need to restore their livelihoods as soon as possible. Prefabricated modular construction has the potential to drastically improve the time taken to provide permanent housing. Due to this time-efficiency, which is an inherent characteristic of modular construction, it can be a desirable strategy for post-disaster housing reconstruction. This paper discusses how prefabricated modular structures can provide a more time-efficient solution by analysing several present-day examples taken from published postdisaster housing reconstruction processes that have been carried out in different parts of the world. It also evaluates how other features of modular construction, such as ease of decommissioning and reusability, can add value to postdisaster reconstruction processes and organisations that contribute to the planning, design and construction stages of the reconstruction process. The suitability of modular construction will also be discussed in the context of the guidelines and best practice guides for post-disaster housing reconstruction published by international organisations. Through this analysis and discussion, it is concluded that prefabricated modular structures are a highly desirable time-efficient solution to post-disaster housing reconstruction.